How Timber Toys and Linn Distribution Handled a Dramatic Shift in Consumer Purchasing Behaviour with the Help of Loadit

01 August 2022

Overview

There has been a definite shift in customer behaviour over the last three years. The most significant change is the growth of internet sales as opposed to the traditional sales taking place in-store. Further to this, most internet sales now include an option to have the item delivered to your door. Others offer a hybrid ‘in-store pickup’ option that involves the customer purchasing an item online but collecting the goods in-store themselves. Timber Toys is an importer, distributor, and wholesaler of high-end, classic wooden toys that have been sourced from all over the world. Business owner, Michelle Levick has sole distribution rights for these brands and supplies products to exclusive toy and gift stores across Africa. Michelle is also a shareholder in Linn Distribution; an import and distribution company that brings exciting international brands to South Africa. While both companies do the packaging and distribution themselves, they had a transport supply problem that needed addressing.

Timber toys delivery

Timber Toys is an importer, distributor, and wholesaler of high-end, classic wooden toys that have been sourced from all over the world. Business owner, Michelle Levick has sole distribution rights for these brands and supplies products to exclusive toy and gift stores across Africa. Michelle is also a shareholder in Linn Distribution; an import and distribution company that brings exciting international brands to South Africa. While both companies do the packaging and distribution themselves, they had a transport supply problem that needed addressing.

Challenge

Timber Toys and Linn Distribution have seen a big increase in sales from their online customers in the last three years. What’s more, Michelle reports that many of the toy stores she supplies to now include an eCommerce solution. The result? Increased demand for delivery services.

The distributors have experienced a notable increase in the sales of their educational products as children are spending a lot more time at home. As was especially true during the peak of the Coronavirus. “Parents have also had a lot more time to engage with their children meaning playrooms have been re-invented and re-created,” said Michelle. This has led to an increase in demand for high-quality toys and educational products that last.

Covid presented many businesses in South Africa with unforeseen challenges. One of Michelle’s biggest challenges as an importer and distributor was a massive increase in shipping and logistics costs. So, she and her team quickly had to adapt to these changes while finding solutions on how to cut down on costs where they could.

Solution

Timber Toys and Linn Distribution have had to arrange bulk deliveries to several outlets in specific regions. Michelle, therefore, turned to Loadit for its fast, flexible, and reliable delivery services. Loadit’s user-friendly site allows Michelle to coordinate her deliveries and routes in just a few simple steps. “We book a truck dedicated to our deliveries and the cost to do this is a lot less than using a traditional courier company,” she stated.

Michelle also said that she particularly liked that Loadit offers suppliers the opportunity to exercise control of their deliveries. Upon booking on the Loadit site, the supplier can select the truck size they will need for their delivery, they can exercise full control in that it is easy to select the routes that the driver will take (prioritising the urgent deliveries over others) and obtain pricing immediately.

As the deliveries are executed the supplier is notified with a POD (proof of delivery). “It saves a massive amount of time not having to weigh each carton as one would have to do with a normal courier service,” she said. With Loadit, you book a truck, and the dimensions of the cartons are not important when it comes to the cost. This is what Michelle believes sets Loadit apart from a standard courier service company. “It is a fantastic concept and really works for our business,” she added.

To understand their clients’ pain points, Loadit meets with them at their site to properly analyse their unique needs. This includes a centre of gravity analysis, vehicle specification, time-and-motion studies and assessing how Loadit can add the most value to the client’s delivery process. Ultimately this process is designed to provide their clients with the most effective way of differentiating themselves in their various markets through flexible, reliable, and timely delivery.

Takeaway

There really is no need for small to medium businesses to invest valuable capital in vehicles and even more valuable time in managing drivers and delivery processes. Loadit makes the delivery process simple, fast, and effective, while releasing valuable resources to focus on the core business. The transportation company identified that the ability to optimise the scheduling of complex deliveries adds massive value to its customers.

Say, for example, a customer has fifteen deliveries of differing sizes that need to take place on a specific day, within specific time windows. Loadit uses state of the art scheduling software to optimise what size vehicles to use, how many, and what order each delivery needs to be completed. It then automatically creates the deliveries, saving the client and their customer time and money.

The client’s customer also derives great value from being able to communicate with the delivery service directly. For example, not arriving between 13h30 and 14h30 because they are out picking up kids from school. Loadit devised new functionality enabling this direct communication between the client’s customer and the Loadit operation. This saves clients from getting involved in the very time-consuming management of their deliveries.

Forward-Thinking

The pandemic has changed so much of how society procures and receives the goods they need. Having said this, the pandemic extremes that forced the delivery of everything you need to your front door are already dissipating. What will remain will inevitably be what consumers enjoyed and valued. Loadit predicts that the convenience and improved choice that ordering online provides is here to stay and will continue to grow.

Consumers, whether commercial or household, value timely delivery of the right product, to the right place at the right time. The cost to value ratios will eventually determine what type of product is delivered and which ones are collected. Loadit anticipates that sellers will begin establishing a competitive advantage by offering their customers a choice ranging from own-collect right through to immediate delivery.

The transportation company has new functionality in the pipeline that their clients can look forward to. One of which is a “My fleet” offering. This will give their clients the ability to prioritise certain vehicles and drivers for their deliveries. This is very useful in terms of their clients being allocated drivers who are familiar with their processes and the way they work. The Loadit team is also working to improve their ability to communicate an accurate ETA to the client’s customers and allow them to track the vehicle to their door.

Find out what Loadit can do for your supply chain by visiting the website.

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